MA Educational Leadership / Course details

Year of entry: 2022

Coronavirus information for applicants and offer-holders

We understand that prospective students and offer-holders may have concerns about the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. The University is following the advice from Universities UK, Public Health England and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Read our latest coronavirus information

Course unit details:
Psychology of Language Learning

Course unit fact file
Unit code EDUC70091
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Offered by Education
Available as a free choice unit? Yes

Overview

This course unit will normally include topics such as the following:

  • the contribution of psychology and psycholinguistics, and other parallel disciplines, to the development of recent thinking and practice in language education;
  • individual differences in language learning, including: age, aptitude, intelligence, personality, cognitive and learning styles, learning strategies;
  • motivation in language learning and teaching, including: instrumental and integrative motivation, intrinsic and extrinsic factors, general determinants of motivation in educational settings;
  • how language is processed (including: issues of input and intake; the role of declarative, procedural and episodic knowledge in the comprehension and production of language; the role of working and long-term memory in language learning);
  • second language acquisition (including: models of the language learning process, recent research developments such as the role of formulaic language in language learning and form-focused instruction); and
  • social processes in language development (including: social construction of language; mediation; ZPD; interpersonal and affective factors in language learning; ecological perspectives on language development).

Aims

This unit aims to:

  • provide an overview of currently relevant research and theory in psychology of language learning and to  examine its implications for language education.
  • provide opportunities for the in-depth study of one specific issue/puzzle, and associated theory, in the psychology of language learning.

Learning outcomes

Upon completion of the unit, students should be able to:

Teaching and learning methods

The onsite course is presented in two parts:

  1. An introduction to a variety of historical and contemporary theories of language learning.
  2. An enquiry-based learning stage, where students identify an issue/puzzle of concern in their own practice and/or past language learning experience and use one theory to develop new understanding of this issue/puzzle.

The enquiry-based learning stage is supported by a tutorial and culminates in a poster presentation session where each student presents on their issue/puzzle, the theory used, and their new understanding. This is assessed formatively by the course unit tutor(s). 

Knowledge and understanding

  • have developed their understanding of how theory in a variety of disciplines related to psychology have contributed to current thinking and practice in language education;
  • be able to demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of theory in a chosen area of psychology relevant to language learning;
  • have an enhanced awareness of how psychological assumptions, both research and conceptually based, inform language education practice.

Intellectual skills

  • critically evaluate the theory and research in the field of language learning, and assess its relevance to teaching and learning;
  • synthesise the relative contributions of different, and sometimes contradictory, theories and research findings.

Practical skills

  • identify an issue/puzzle from their own practice/experience that may be  understood drawing on existing r theory in psychology and/or psycholinguistics;
  • present new understanding through presentation; organise and carry out a presentation of their work.

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • enhanced skills in academic literacies, including academic  presentation, information processing (on- and off-line) and online networking;
  • enhanced skills in using information and communication technologies (ICT);
  • enhanced skills in interpersonal and intercultural communication;
  • enhanced skills in team-work and collaborative practice;
  • an appreciation of the value of reflection in professional practice; and
  • autonomy and enhanced metacognitive strategies with regard to study skills and further professional development.

Assessment methods

Assessment Task Length How and when feedback is provided Weighting within unit
Presentation of the EBL work in an interactive poster session 4 PPT Slides, but as part of 30 minute poster presentation session Tutor(s) giving standardized feedback (in BB/Turnitin), with explanation where needed, in time for students to improve the later written assignment.  20%
A written version of the ‘Presentation of the EBL work’ 2000 words Tutor(s) giving substantive feedback on written assignment (in BB/Turnitin) in accordance with normal Faculty time period for marking. 80%

 

Feedback methods

TBC

Recommended reading

Indicative reading list is as follows. More specific readings will be assigned each week of the semester.

Dornyei, Z. (2010). Teaching and Researching Motivation (2nd Edition). Harlow: Longman. [This is a significant update on the 2001 edition].

Ellis, R. (1997). Second Language Acquisition. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Hummel, K. M. (2020). Introducing Second Language Acquisition: Perspectives and Practices (2nd Edition). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

Lightbown, P. M., & Spada, N. (2021). How Languages Are Learned (5th Edition). Oxford University Press. [Earlier editions will be useful as well].

Lantolf, J.P. & Thorne, S.L. (2006). Sociocultural Theory and the Genesis of Second Language Development. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Mitchell, R., Myles, F., & Marsden, E. (2019). Second Language Learning Theories (4th Edition). New York: Routledge.

Stelma, J., & Kostoulas, A. (2021). The Intentional Dynamics of TESOL. Boston/Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton.
 

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Tutorials 1
Work based learning 10
Independent study hours
Independent study 139

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Juurd Stelma Unit coordinator

Additional notes

Information
This is an optional course unit for MA Educational Technology and TESOL and MA TESOL students.

NB: It is advised to contact the tutor if you wish to take this unit as an option as availability may be limited.

Pre-requisites

This is one of a group of three core course units from which MA TESOL participants must select at least two; it is also part of the menu of electives for MA Educational Technology & TESOL participants. It is usually taken early-mid studies on the both programmes.

Return to course details